Arizona students could have a public university option to study veterinary medicine as soon as next year, if the University of Arizona's plan for a new program is approved by accreditors. A new college for veterinary medicine would open and begin enrolling students by fall 2020 under the university's plan.UA has worked to open a veterinary-medicine program for several years, but so far hasn't convinced the accrediting body, the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education, to bless it.
The anti-vaccine movement has come for pets. In fact, the spreading fear of side effects from pet vaccines led the British Veterinary Association to issue a statement that dogs cannot develop autism from them.
“The 2017 Census of Agriculture puts hard data behind what American farmers and farmer advocates have known for some time – if we don’t invest in beginning farmers and the advancement of our family farms, and if we don’t put checks on increasing consolidation in agriculture, we’re going to be at risk of losing the ag of the middle entirely,” said Juli Obudzinski, NSAC Interim Policy Director. “Seventy five percent of all agricultural sales are now coming from just five percent of operations. The total number of farms is down nationwide, while the average size of farms continues to increase. We can’t sit idly by while the middle falls out of American agriculture. If we’re going to reverse these trends, we need to focus on programs and policies – beginning farmer and rancher programs, local and organic agriculture, and farmer-driven research to name a few – that help our family farmers thrive, not just survive.”
Recent news items from the Corn Belt point to several economic challenges facing producers as spring planting approaches. Nonetheless, relatively steady farmland values continue to be a bright spot. But a recent update from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City noted that: “If farmland sales continue to increase in 2019 alongside persistently low agricultural commodity prices and higher interest rates, farmland values could decline further.”
The European Union is ready to start talks on a trade agreement with the United States and aims to conclude a deal before year-end, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said. The EU approved two areas for negotiation, opposed by France with an abstention from Belgium. But agriculture was not included, leaving the 28-country bloc at odds with Washington, which has insisted on including farm products in the talks.
Farm Bureau grassroots leaders debated this issue in 2019 and ultimately decided to oppose a mandatory quota system with the willingness to consider a flexible supply management system that is administered through the marketplace and not through the federal government, i.e., milk processors and cooperatives alongside individual dairy farmers. Milk supply management programs, which provide incentives or penalties to limit perceived over-production, have been used previously in the U.S. with mixed results. These programs included a USDA-administered milk diversion program, government-administered and industry-funded herd buyout programs, and base-excess plans, i.e., two-tiered pricing. In addition, a milk supply management program was heavily debated during the 2014 farm bill. Today’s Market Intel article reviews these previous attempts to manage the U.S. milk supply.
Washington lawmakers have raised fees to save the Department of Agriculture's brand program, settling for now an issue that divided the cattle industry for two years. While beef cattlemen's groups endorse the new fees, the outcome disappointed the Washington State Dairy Federation.The fee for inspecting branded cattle to verify ownership will increase by 10% to $1.21 per head.The fee for inspecting cows that haven't been branded or fitted with a certain type of electronic tag will increase by 150% to $4 per head. So-called "unidentified" cows are common on dairies.The higher fee presumably will motivate dairy farmers to identify their cows, a goal of animal-health officials.Dairy federation policy director Jay Gordon said that's OK, but the fees aren't going to help trace diseases. Instead, the money will support an asset-protection program "our guys don't want, don't need, don't use," he said Friday.
"I've got to make $16 (per 100 pounds, or 11.6 gallons of milk) just to break even,” Dwight Raber said, as he turned the pages on a printed report that details daily production of the farm’s 235 cows. “Right now, I’m at $13.89, and it’s been that way for two years.” In Raber’s younger days, a cow that produced 100 pounds of milk a day was a herd superstar. These days, that’s almost the average. Large-scale dairy farms and low milk prices have forced Raber to find new ways to keep the bills paid and their farms operating.Raber added beef cattle to the farm to supplement the dairy portion. But even so, he has come to the conclusion that he just can’t make a living at it anymore.So, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Raber will sell his herd of dairy cows and much of the equipment he has accumulated through the years.
Indiana lawmakers on Thursday defeated a controversial power plant moratorium aimed at preserving in-state coal generators, but the language could resurface later in the legislative session. State lawmakers voted 53-38 to remove Amendment 7 from Senate Bill 472. The amendment would have halted utility purchases or construction of generation assets 250 MW or larger until 2021. Debate over the generation moratorium corresponded with a lobbying campaign by out-of-state coal interests that supply fuel to Indiana generators. Utilities, which plan to retire their aging coal generators in favor of cheaper gas and renewables, have opposed the moratorium.
The survival of thousands of smaller dairy farmers rides on the success of the latest program designed to save them as dairy farmers right now continue going out of business at a rapid clip.Struggling dairy farmers and their bankers are being told to just hold on until this summer when USDA will finally be ready to sign up dairy producers for the Dairy Margin Coverage program.“This program isn’t perfect, but it’s the best thing that we’ve had in dairy in a long time,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn. “It will keep these small guys in business, and that’s the purpose of it.”